3 artists show promise at Gomez Art: Works summon the collective unconscious, capture visions of a small town and address issues of identity

Fine Arts

August 25, 1998|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC

Gomez Gallery's current three-artist show has the virtue of consistency. Each of the artists reveals ability and promise. None can yet be called a thoroughly original talent, and the reason's different in each case. But they all look as if they have the potential to get there, so it'll probably be worthwhile to stay tuned.

John McGarity's paintings, often containing an element of photography, are expressionist in feel and look as if they relate to the collective unconscious -- the shared memory of the human species. One of his works, untitled, shows a photograph of a walled enclosure sitting on top of layers of what the viewer takes to be archaeological remains below. It suggests that just as one is influenced by the details of life around him, represented by the stones of the wall, so one is also influenced, if unconsciously, by all the lives and eras that have gone before.

Another untitled work shows a cage-like grid suspended over a globby mass that also suggests the controlling past. Unfortunately, while it's an accomplished image, it's a little too indebted to the work of the German artist Anselm Kiefer, as are other works here. Others, such as "Yan-Ap," exhibit a more surreal flavor. McGarity looks like he's trying out modes of expression, but he also looks like, when he finds his own, he'll be an artist to contend with.

Tatiana Palnitska's series of photographs, collectively called "A Walk Around My Town," contain bits and pieces of the town scene -- a bit of building punctuated by windows, a bicycle arranged just so by a parking meter, flowers drifting down a wall. Arranged in compositions that look partly abstract, and overlaid with lines that resemble wood graining, they're immediately appealing.

But they don't have a lot of staying power, for others have done this sort of thing better. Palnitska has an eye; if she can remove the work's sentimental overtones, make it leaner and tougher, she'll have a more resonant art. It might not be as popular, though.

Peter Bruun says in his artist's statement that his abstract drawings are derived from self-portraiture "and can be seen as addressing issues of identity on a metaphorical level." Bruun's obviously an artist of learning and intelligence, but he ascribes too much to what are essentially a set of handsome exercises. His work needs to reveal a bit of struggle, a sense of having come to grips with something of importance -- aesthetically, psychologically.

Gomez Gallery, in Meadow Mill at 3600 Clipper Mill Road, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The show runs through Sept. 13. For information, call 410-662-9510.

Two September deadlines

School 33 Art Center announces two calls for entries. Deadline for entries for the 1999 annual juried exhibition, opening in January, is Sept. 15. The juror will be Steven Beyer, assistant artistic director and director of public programs at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia.

The competition is open to all artists within a 75-mile radius of Baltimore, and all media will be considered. Entrants should submit a current resume and up to six slides.

There are two exhibition periods open for School 33's installation space. The deadline for applications is Sept. 12. Proposals will be selected by artist Kay Rosen.

Artists may apply individually or as part of a group. Applications should include a one-page proposal, a current resume, a working drawing with the plan of the space in mind and up to 10 slides.

School 33 Art Center is at 1427 Light St., Baltimore, Md. 21230. Call 410-396-4641 or 410-396-4642.

Van Gogh and Edo

Beginning Sunday, advance passes will be available for two blockbuster exhibits coming to Washington's National Gallery this fall: "Van Gogh's Van Goghs," 70 paintings by Vincent van Gogh from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (opening Oct. 4), and "Edo: Art in Japan 1615-1868" (opening Nov. 15). Passes will be required daily for the Van Gogh, and on weekends, holidays and other busy days during the holiday season for the Japan exhibit.

Passes can be obtained free at the gallery's East Building pass desk (limit of six per person), at TicketMaster locations and Hecht's stores for a service charge of $2 per pass, or through TicketMaster phone charge (410-481-SEAT) for a service charge of $2.75 per pass and $1.25 handling fee.

A limited number of same-day passes will be available free at the gallery every day on a first-come, first-served basis.

The National Gallery of Art at Constitution Avenue and Fourth Street N.W., Washington, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. For pass information on the Van Gogh show, call 202-737-4215. For the Japan show, call 202-789-4999.

Proposals on hysteria

The fifth issue of Link: A Critical Journal on the Arts in Baltimore and the World will be devoted to the theme of hysteria, and potential contributors are invited to submit proposals by Sept. 1 for pieces they would like to write. Proposals should be no more than 500 words. Proposals should be submitted to Link, P.O. Box 22228, Baltimore, Md. 21203-4228.

For information, contact Kathy O'Dell, the issue's guest editor, online at odelmbc.edu, or call Megan Hamilton at 410-276-1651.

Pub Date: 8/25/98

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